The Walt Disney Company has bought Lucasfilm for $4 Billion in cash and stock. In case you’re wondering guys — yes, that includes the Star Wars franchise. UPDATED 2:10pm
UPDATE: An investor call about the acquisition is happening at 1:30 PDT / 4:30 EDT. You can listen to the Webcast live here. (Conference call is now OVER. Updates from it below.)
UPDATE 2: With Episode VII set for 2015, CEO Bob Iger says they’d like to see a new Star Wars movie “every two to three years.”
UPDATE 3: Wait, crap. Indiana Jones is Lucasfilm, too! Disney owns Indiana Jones.
UPDATE 4: In the conference call, Bob Iger notes that Star Wars is “great for TV.”
UPDATE 5: George Lucas talks about the Disney acquisition here:
Which means Star Tours ain’t never leaving Disneyland, now. They’ve also announced that Star Wars will be completing its original 9-part structure, starting with the as-yet untitled Episode VII, which is slated for a 2015 release. Without George Lucas directing.
Lucasfilm was 100% owned and operated by Lucas, which means he just got an even bigger dump truck full of money. He also gets 40 million shares of Disney stock. In comparison, Steve Jobs held 138 million shares of Disney and was during his lifetime the largest single shareholder of the company.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said this:
This transaction combines a world-class portfolio of content including Star Wars, one of the greatest family entertainment franchises of all time, with Disney’s unique and unparalleled creativity across multiple platforms, businesses, and markets to generate sustained growth and drive significant long-term value.
Translation: “We’re gonna sell the shit out of this.”
Lucas will not be President of the Lucasfilm division of Disney, now. That goes to the current Co-Chair of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, who will be Executive Producer on the new Star Wars films. Both the boards of directors of Disney and Lucasfilm have approved the transaction — so this is happening.
As far as that Episode VII? It doesn’t look like Lucas is going to direct it. He’s on as a “creative consultant,” and said “It’s now time for me to pass Star Wars on to a new generation of filmmakers.”
Industrial Light & Magic, Skywalker Sound, LucasArts, etc. are all under the Lucasfilm Ltd. Which means they’re all now Disney owned. Every Star Wars book, video game franchise — everything. Disney now gets a cut.
Knights of the Old Republic? Disney get paid. All those Extended Universe books that Episode VII is sure to retcon? Disney get paid.
The moral of this story: Disney get paid. Lucas get paid.
In other news: The sky is blue.
Question: This good for Star Wars? Bad?